Lotta and Lyon: Finally signed
Lotta says that it has always been her ambition to play professionally abroad and she is happy they have agreed. Lyon has a great team and there are good conditions for her to play and develop. In particular she looks forward to playing in Women's Cup, where Lyon is one of the favourites to win the championship. She doesn't comment on her salary other than that she is satisfied with her contract.
Göteborg FC receives more than SEK 1 million for Schelin's contract and according to unconfirmed sources Schelin's yearly salary will be approximately SEK 1,5 millions a year. This ought to make her the highest earning female footballer outside the American national team.
SVT's expert commentator Thomas Wernersson (who also is the goalkeeper coach in Lotta's Göteborg) says that the big European clubs taking an interest in women's football is a good thing, particularly in the long run. On short term, it might not be good for the best Swedish players to move to weaker leagues. But, as Lotta says, Lyon's main goal seems to be UEFA Women's Cup and not the domestic league.
SVT: Schelin om flytten till Lyon (video)
Göteborgsposten: Lotta överens med Lyon
Expressen: Nu är Lotta Schelin helt klar för Lyon
Linköping back on winning streak
Bälinge IF - Linköping FC 0 - 4 (0-3)
Bälinge: Veronica Svensson - Karolina Mats, Natalie Spilger, Nina Engström, Emma Lindqvist - Emilia Appelqvist, Julia Lyckberg, Julia Bhy (678 Anna Torstensson), Noelle Keselica (41 Jenny Jansson) - Katri Nokso-Koivisto (56 Sarah Storck), Alexandra Höglund
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Maja Krantz, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Marie-Louise Skålberg - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Petra Larsson, Caroline Seger (46 Daniela), Maria Karlsson (68 Tilda Heimersson) - Josefine Öqvist (46 Lisa Nilsson), Kosovare Asllani
Goals: 0-1 Kosovare Asllani (7), 0-2 Caroline Seger (19), 0-3 Josefine Öqvist (38), 0-4 Kosovare Asllani (90)
The league's number one, with only one defeat in 14 matches against the last, winless for more than a year, can only end in one way. Linköping had lost Cristiane, Jessica Landström on suspension and Daniela and Josefine Öqvist were not ready for 90 minutes after the Olympics. And they chose to let Caroline Seger rest the second half. Still, they were never even threatened. The 19 years old attacker Kosovare Asllani showed that Linköping shouldn't be that worried about not managing to retain Brazilian star Cristiane, scoring two goals and generally impressing. But, commented coach Daniel Pettersson, the most important was that they won and that Öqvist and Seger managed to avoid yellow cards - they both have two and will be suspended one match after their third.
Upsala Nya Tidning: "Jossan": En dag på jobbet
Corren: Asllani visade vägen för LFC
Hammarby IF - Kif Örebro 1 - 1 (0-1)
Hammarby: Kathrin Lehmann - Anna Lindblom (25 Annica Svensson), Karin Lissel, Elin Sölveskog, Matilda Agné - Jennie Jonsson (79 Therese Dahlberg), Madeleine Tegström - Lisa Björkvik (69 Tempest-Marie Norlin), Nazanin Vaseghpanah, Kristin Bengtsson - Sara Johansson
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Susanna Lehtinen, Stina Segerström, Marina Pettersson, Marie Hammarström - Lena Andersson, Sanna Valkonen, Caroline Näfver - Kim Ekebom (81 Hanna Pettersson), Leena Puranen (84 Ingrid Ericsson), Elin Magnusson
Goals: 0-1 Lena Andersson (3), 1-1 Sara Johansson (86)
Kristianstad wins relegation decider over Umeå Södra
Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - Djurgårdens IF 3 - 4 (1-1)
Göteborg: Jenny Olsson - Amelie Rybeck, Jane Törnqvist, Jenny Hallstenson, Marlene Sjöberg (77 Camilla Schelin) - Emmelie Farfa (69 Sofie Andersson), Ingvild Stensland, Lisa Ek, Johanna Almgren - Linnea Liljegärd, Sara Lindén
Djurgården: Nadine Angerer - Malin Engdahl, Ariane Hingst, Therese Brogårde, Anna Hall - Sara Thunebro, Victoria Svensson, Femke Maes, Marijke Callebaut (86 Mia Jakerud) - Linda Forsberg (69 Jennifer Meier), Linda Sällström (83 Anna Lagerberth)
Goals: 0-1 Linda Forsberg (41), 1-1 Linnea Liljegärd (44), 2-1 Johanna Almgren (46), 2-2 Sara Thunebro (61), 2-3 Sara Thunebro (70), 2-4 Jennifer Meier (75), 3-4 Sara Lindén (93)
Göteborg vs Djurgården matches are often enjoyable, high-scoring affairs. This time too. Djurgården was the stronger on the pitch, dominating midfield, but Göteborg, with Ingvild Stensland as the new team captain, showed that even without Lotta Schelin, there is great scoring ability. The 1-1 goal was a little beauty with Linnea Liljegärd acting in Schelin's usual role, moving on a perfect pass from behind and running away from the defense to score. But Djurgården seemed heavier as a team, their new Swedish-Belgian midfield impressing with Sara Thunebro excelling in Elin Ekblom's old right outside position, scoring twice to turn the match around. And four goals in one match is a season record for Djurgården, that has had big problems finding the net this season.
Dagens Nyheter: Stockholmare starkast i Göteborg
Göteborgsposten: Förlust trots tre mål framåt
SVT: a Lotta Schelin interview and match clips from the evening sports news, 3:55 into the video
Kristianstads DFF - Umeå Södra FF 2 - 0 (1-0)
Kristianstad: Maria Edman - Johanna Jönsson, Efiome Dieke, Kia McNeil (79 Pernilla Falk), Carolin Ericsson - Angelique Sandberg, Therese Björck, Sofie Persson, Johanna Rosén - Frida Petersson (93 Vlora Bajraktaraj), Erla Arnardòttir
Umeå Södra: Minna Meriluoto - Ragna Lestander (82 Anna Forss), Fanta Cooper, Kristin Åberg, Anna Rehn - Victoria Forsmark (73 Terese Andersson), Hanna Folkesson, Emma Sundberg, Nicole Cross - Vanessa Mångsén (72 Linda Fransson), Jennifer Nobis
Goals: 1-0 Carolin Ericsson (33), 2-0 Frida Pettersson (66)
There might not be any really "must-win" matches when one third of the matches remains to be played, but for relegation threatened Umeå Södra and Kristianstad it still must have seemed like that. A win for Umeå Södra would take them over the relegation line at Kristianstad's expense.
The importance of the match might have weighed more on the guests, because Kristianstad seemed to direct the pace already from the early minutes. They were more aggressive, tougher in one-on-ones, taking more runs and shooting better. After Carolin Ericsson's goal, from a corner kick, the difference between the team's seemed to grow. Umeå Södra seemed to have hard to make the right decisions, playing too short or too long passes and making mistimed runs. When Frida Pettersson a little bit after the one hour mark scored in her typical manner, running on a long pass, the result was pretty much set.
After the win Kristianstad has four points down to Umeå Södra and one of the relegation spots. That is by no means a secure distance, but it was definitely an important step to secure another season in Damallsvenskan.
Kristianstadsbladet: KDFF vinst mot Umeå
Västerbottenskuriren: Södra föll i måste-matchen
Norra Skåne: Ett kliv mot nytt kontrakt
Umeå defeats Örebro, closes in on league leaders Linköping
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Johanna Frisk, Karolina Westberg, Frida Östberg - Mami Yamaguchi (88 Emelie Konradsson), Lisa Dahlkvist, Hanna Ljungberg (57 Emma Åberg Zingmark) - Ramona Bachmann (62 Johanna Rasmussen), Madeleine Edlund, Marta
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Susanna Lehtinen, Marina Pettersson, Sanna Valkonen, Marie Hammarström (89 Marie Stålberg) - Kim Ekebom (77 Hanna Pettersson), Stina Segerström, Ingrid Ericsson (66 Leena Puranen), Caroline Näfver - Lena Andersson, Elin Magnusson
Goals: 1-0 Karolina Westberg (11), 2-0 Mami Yamaguchi (16), 3-0 Marta (85)
A somewhat rusty Umeå did what was expected of them and defeated guesting Kif Örebro. Kariolina Westberg opened the score-sheet already after a few minutes, heading in a cornerkick from Marta. Shortly after Mami Yamaguchi followed up, catching a rebound from Örebro's Kristin Hammarström, otherwise doing really good. After that Umeå seemed to fall back a bit and let Örebro in the match. Karolina Westberg was a bit disappointed that her team couldn't keep their play up for 90 minutes: "We haven't been playing for a long time and everybody should be on their toes". Marta finished off the match with a goal in the last minutes.
Hanna Ljungberg started, still not perfectly fit after her injury problems, but good for 60 minutes. She played in an offensive midfield position, which she liked.
Umeå's win put them two points after league leaders Linköping after 14 matches for both teams. They will meet in Linköping on Wednesday in an early league final.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Westbergs revansch
Västerbottenskuriren: Spelsugen Westberg visade vägen
SVT: a match clip 3:05 in to the sport evening news.
AIK - Sunnanå SK 1 - 0 (0-0)
AIK: Sofia Lundgren - Sofia Simonsson, Frida Höglund, Linda Sembrant, Linda Lekander - Elin Ekblom Bak, Jessica Julin (59 Annika Sjölund), Anne Mäkinen, Laura Kalmari, Emma Lundh (76 Emelie Karlsson Wedin) - Lisa De Vanna
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Alexandra Nilsson, Sanna Frostevall, Rebecca Smith, Magdalena Esseryd - Anna Bodén (11 Matidla Forslund), Perpetua Nkwocha, Josefin Johansson, Carina Holmberg (67 Sandra Berggren) - Mirjam Marklund, Lina Johansson (56 Lisa Renberg)
Goals: 1-0 Kisa De Vanna (84)
Sunnanå lost midfielder Anna Bodén to a knee injury early in the first half, but still managed to keep AIK fairly harmless through most iof the match. In the second half they even dominated and Perpetua Nkwocha was behind a couple of good opportunities for Sunnanå to take the lead. But the match was decided in AIK's favour when a long ball directly from goalkeeper Sofia Lundgren reached Lisa De Vanna, who escaped her defenders and chipped the ball over Sunnanå's Åsa Berglund.
Dagens Nyheter: De Vanna förde upp AIK till tredjeplats
Västerbottens Folkblad: Stjärnan sänkte Sunnanå
Norra VÄsterbotten: Bodén skadad när Sunnanå föll mot AIK
Lotta Schelin has signed with Lyon
Eagerly awaiting more details and comments, hopefully tomorrow.
Umeå IK eyeing Sunnanå's Alexandra Nilsson
20 years old Sweden U23 player Josefine Johansson is another Sunnanå player that have suitors, in this case LDB FC Malmö.
Sunnanå on their side are looking towards players on relegation threatened Umeå Södra's roster; talented midfielder Hanna Folkesson, attacker Linda Fransson and American forward Jennifer Nobis.
Norra Västerbotten: UIK vill ha Alexandra Nilsson
American interest in Djurgården's Angerer
FF-News: US-Profiliga will Prinz und Angerer ködern
In other Damallsvenskan related WPS news, an unconfirmed rumour, though published by usually reliable Damfotboll.com, places Linköping's former Brazilian Cristiane in the American league, more precisely in St Louis, where her Brazil coach Jorge Barcellos will be leading the local team.
Damfotboll.com: Cristiane het för amerikanska proffsligan
Easy win for Malmö over Hammarby
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Dora Stefansdottir, Christina Örntoft (76 Lina Nilsson), Emma Wilhelmsson, Nera Smajic - Frida Nordin (69 Therese Lundin), Nilla Fischer (69 Emma Stålhammar), Therese Sjögran, Pavlina Scasna - Maria Aronsson, Manon Melis
Hammarby: Kathrin Lehmann - Matilda Agné, Karin Lissel, Elin Sölveskog, Anna Lindblom - Jennie Jonsson (75 Therese Dahlberg), Madeleine Tegström - Hodan Siid-Ahmed (53 Lisa Björkvik), Nazanin Vaseghpanah, Kristin Bengtsson (66 Annica Svensson) - Andrea Comaneci
Goals: 1-0 Manon Melis (32), 2-0 Maria Aronsson (53), 3-0 Maria Aronsson (60), 4-0 Manon Melis (93)
Hammarby's Swiss goalkeeper Kathrin Lehmann saved her team from a fate like what they suffered against Malmö in their home 0-7 loss to Malmö in April. In the first ten minutes she was forced to three really good saves while Hammarby's attacking was almost non-existent. Malmö continued to create opportunities throughout the first half, often with Pavlina Scasna opening Hammarby's defense on the right side. It still took half an hour before Damallsvenskan's leading goalscorer Manon Melis could give Malmö the lead with a fairly surprising shot from the edge of the area when Hammarby just had cleared a much more dangerous looking situation.
Hammarby managed to push up more in the second half and spend more time in Malmö's defensive third, but lacked edge in finishing. In spite of facing better opposition, Malmö scored three times in the second: a Maria Aronsson header from Nilla Fischer's assist, Aronsson scoring again in an open goal as Lehmann had ventured too far out and in the final seconds Melis running on a pass from Emma Stålhammar.
The pitch was wet and slippery, which accounts for a lot of falls and probably two Malmö substitutions, first Nilla Fischer in what looked like a better-safe-than-sorry substitution after lying on the ground for a while and then Danish defender Christina Örtoft with a nose-bleed from another unintentioned run-in.
Mainly nice play from both sides, very little un-addressed long balls and a lot of nice passing combinations. Hammarby's small (maybe ten people) but very vocal and untiring group of fans also impressed, singing and chanting for 90 minutes.
Sydsvenskan: Enkel seger för LDB FC Malmö
Lotta Schelin: I decide if I want to move, not the clubs
The transfer window closes on Sunday, August 31. Lotta says she hopes the matter will be resolved by then. Apart from that, she is not interested in discussing the potential move any further.
Aftonbladet: ”Hoppas allt blir klart innan söndag”
FC Indiana targeting Ingvild Stensland
Chicagoland Soccer News: LOOKING FOR A MIDFIELDER
Damfotboll.com: Begär 450.000 för Ingvild Stensland
Just a curious question here: I was under the impression that Stensland's contract with Göteborg FC finishes after this season. At least that is what was announced in October last year, when Stensland decided to re-sign for the 2008 season. And FC Indiana shouldn't have any serious ball-playing ahead of them until May next year, when their league starts. So why are we talking about a transfer fee here?
Damallsvenskan restarts with Bälinge defeat
Bälinge: Veronica Svensson - Emma Lindqvist, Natalie Spilger, Nina Engström, Karolina Mats - Julia Lyckberg (79 Jenny Jansson), Lisa Lantz, Julia Bhy (58 Alexandra Höglund), Emilia Appelqvust - Katri Nokso-Koivisto (50 Sarah Storck), Noelle Keselica
AIK: Sofia Lundgren - Sofia Simonsson, Linda Sembrabt, Fruida Höglund, Jessica Julin (51 Kate Gill) - Elin Ekblom Bak, Anne Mäkinen, Laura Kalmari (76 Annica Sjölund), Louise Fors (62 Emelie Karlsson Wedin) - Lisa De Vanna, Emma Lundh
Goals: 0-1 Linda Sembrant (10), 0-2 Emma Lundh (12), 0-3 Lisa De Vanna (93)
In then first match after the long break for the Olympic games, Bälinge hosted AIK. Bälinge, desperately trying to avoid relegation and still hunting their first league win, could have wished for a better opening. Only ten minutes into the game, former Bälinge player Linda Sembrant picked up a loose ball after a corner-kick and chipped Veronica Svensson in Bälinge's goal. It was soon followed by another AIK goal, a nice copperation between Lisa De Vanna and Emma Lundh. "After that we became a bit too content", commented AIK's head coach Benny Persson, trying to explain 80 goalless minutes in spite of a big dominance in the play. Lisa De Vanna scored the third at overtime, when she simply out-ran Bälinge's defense.
Bälinge's newest signing, Temryss Lane, couldn't start as she has suffered a light strain in training.
Upsala Nya Tidning: Sembrant kom hem och sänkte Bälinge, Bälinges nyförvärv på plats
No more Cristiane for Linköping
Tabloid Aftonbladet states that the cost for keeping Cristiane until the league finishes in November would have amounted to at least SEK 800,000. Linköping has found businesses and other sponsors willing to contribute, but not enough even to finance the entire cost for Daniela's contract.
Linköping FC: Ingen Cristiane i höst
Aftonbladet: Priset för att behålla stjärnan – 800 000
AIK defeated 1st division side Älvsjö AIK 6-1 with goals by Louise Fors (3), Kate Gill, Annica Sjölund and Jessica Julin. They could use their entire squad with the exception of Lisa De Vanna, who hadn't returned from Australia. Last Thursday they played Djurgården in a final tune-up game, now with De Vanna present. It was a 2-2 draw, goals by Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill for AIK and by Marijke Callebaut and Victoria Svensson for Djurgården. Djurgården subbed in their Swedish national team players after 60 minutes, while the Germans obviously still hasn't arrived.
Earlier during the summer Djurgården played LDB FC Malmö, both teams with a lot of replacement players. It ended 2-2 with Jennifer Meier and Femke Maes giving Djurgården a 2-0 lead already after less than 10 minutes. Therese Jönsson and Therese Lundin scored to equalise for Malmö. Djurgården continued the summer break friendlies with a 2-0 win over Hammarby, goals by Anna Lagerberth and Anna Hall.
LDB FC also played 2nd division side IFK Kalmar in an exhibition match, winning 7-2 with goals by Therese Lundin (3), Pavlina Scasna (2) Frida Nordin and Dóra Stefánsdóttir. Bälinge won a match and scored 6 goals, which must have felt good for the team, even if it was against local 2nd division side Märsta. Emilia Appelquist (2), Katri Nokso-Koivisto, Noelle Keselica (2) and Alexandra Höglund were the goalscorers.
Hammarby had a warmup against Djurgården, as mentioned earlier, and also played 1st division team Bollstanäs, a 1-0 win after a goal be Elin Sölveskog. Kif Örebro went to Norway and played two matches against Team Strömmen, presently on 4th place in the Norwegian league. They won both matches, 4-1 and 1-0.
Kopparbergs/Göteborg also played Norwegian competition. Norways champions and league leaders Röa visited Sweden and played a 2-2 draw. Both Göteborg goals by Sara Lindén. Their summer matches also includes a 12-0 friendly against lower division Ytterby IS and a 2-1 win over teenage boys from Jonsereds IF, Sara Lindén and Maria Karlsson scored, wearlier today. Lotta Schelin was there, mingling with the crowd, but didn't play.
Kristianstads DFF played their final warm-up last night, defeating Stattena, 1st division leaders with a good chance of promoting to Damallsvenskan. Kristianstad won 2-1 after goals by Vlora Bajraktaraj and Pernilla Falk. And finally Sunnanå and Umeå Södra played each other a week ago, drawing 1-1. Marjam Marklund gave Sunnanå the lead and Terese Andersson equalised in the final minutes.
Umeå IK: Jeglertz and Yamaguchi stays
Mami Yamaguchi, a pretty likely candidate for the rookie of the year award, has also signed for another year. The crucial point was appearently that the club made it possible for her to be able to complete her college studies.
Other Umeå player that have signed renewed contracts are goalkeeper Carola Söberg (one year) and young midfielder Emma Åberg Zingmark (two years).
Västerbottenskuriren: Mami Yamaguchi stannar i UIK en säsong till
Västerbottens Folkblad: Söberg förlänger med UIK, Jeglertz blir manager
Lotta Schelin leaves Sweden for Lyon
Lotta Schelin only says that she hasn't signed any personal contract yet and would like to wait with her comments until she has. But according to her chairman it is a two year contract and according to other sources the contract could be worth more than SEK 1 million a year for her.
Göteborgsposten: Schelin klar för Lyon
Bitter Olympic exit for Sweden
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson (110 Maria Aronsson), Charlotte Rohlin, Sara Thunebro - Caroline Seger - Linda Forsberg (67 Anna Paulson), Victoria Svensson, Therese Sjögran (110 Johanna Almgren) - Lotta Schelin, Jessica Landström
Goals: 0-1 Kerstin Garefrekes (105), 0-2 Simone Laudehr (115)
Holding Germany tied for 90 minutes isn't a small feat, but since it always seems to end with Germany scoring in extratime (2001 and 2003 are earlier examples), it just leaves a bitter taste of defeat. Sweden stood up pretty well in a rather typical Sweden-Germany match, close, physical, decided on set pieces. Not until extra-time, when things began to fall apart for Sweden, did Germany look like clear winners. Dennerby's offensive substitutions after 10 minutes of extra-time was the right way to go, but didn't help.
Both Therese Sjögran and Victoria Svensson said that this was their last Olympics, but none of them commented on next year. Coach Thomas Dennerby will stay on - he got a declaration of confidence from the Swedish FA almost immideately after the match - but I think that we will be in trouble if next year's European Championships ends in anything like the two championships he has coached the Swedish side. Marika Domanski Lyfors reached at least the semifinals 2003-2005, Dennerby hasn't managed after his first two tries. Even if the Football Association is patient, I don't think he can afford third failure.
SVT: Tyskland gjorde två mål i förlängning
Expressen: Seger: "Det känns jävligt tråkigt"
Dagens Nyheter: Bittert slut för Sverige
"Nothing happens for 90 minutes, and then...", a really good match report in English at Damallsvenskan Soapbox
Linköping losing Cristiane ?
"It is simply about money. We had to prioritize and we chose [Brazil midfielder] Daniela", he explains. Asked if he doesn't regret the choice they made, Mård answers "It's not about who is the best player. It's about who is the best for the team. It was more important to secure our midfield. In the attack we have more alternatives". Both Jessica Landström and Josefine Öqvist has scored more goals for the club than Cristiane.
Linköping's coach Daniel Pettersson agrees with his chairman "She and Jessica Landström has had problems finding each other. In her national team she is playing with Marta and that has worked out fantastic ... But as a coach I would of course like to have both [Daniela and Cristiane] on the team".
But that seems less and less probable. "We don't have the money today" says Mård. And the more Cristiane is seen in the tournament, the greater is the risk that somebody else presents her with an offer.
Expressen: Brasiliens stjärna ratas av Linköping
Fotbollskanalen: Cristiane kan vara förlorad för Linköping
Coach Thomas Dennerby says he can see some flaws in the German team: "Their back-line isn't that fast" and Victoria Svensson thinks that all the midfielders doesn't really do their job. "It's always been close when we have met", says Lotta Schelin, who promises that they can score against any competition.
There is a lot of focus on Nadine Angerer, who is Victoria Svensson's teammate in Djurgården in the Swedish league: "She is a great keeper and her record speaks for itself", says Victoria, "but she has weaknesses and I and Foppa [Linda Forsberg] has told the others [on the Swedish team]." But they don't want to tell the press. "They speak Swedish and they read Swedish papers", explains Thomas Dennerby, refering to Angerer and her Djurgården teammate Ariane Hingst.
As usual this Olympics, all the football teams that are playing in the same town are also lodged in the same hotel and Victoria Svensson tells that there has been some gibes when they have met in the lobby.
The injury list has shortened somewhat, Sara Thunebro has recovered from her headbutting incident and will be able to play, but it is still undcertain if Nilla Fischer will recover in time.
Dagens Nyheter: Tyska muren står i vägen för medalj
SVT: Lotta Schelin sugen på fler mål (with video interviews, for those of you who are allowed to see them)
Expressen: Djurgårdare kan fälla Sverige
Sweden defeats Canada and extends injury list
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Sara Thunebro (86 Anna Paulson) - Nilla Fischer (27 Jessica Landström) - Linda Forsberg, Caroline Seger, Therese Sjögran - Lotta Schelin, Victoria Svensson
Goals: 1-0 Lotta Schelin (19), 2-0 Lotta Schelin (51), 2-1 Melissa Tancredi (63)
I've been on the road today, so just a few short comments. The match is unanimously regarded as Sweden's best so far. The defense had a lot to do, but did it well. Better combinations, better movement and more players involved in the attacks.
Fischer's injury was very unfortunate (hasn't the fields been looking very soft by the way?), but it gave Jessica Landström the chance she deserves. Playing Victoria Svensson in a classic number 10 position is always a good idea – she was brilliant setting up both Sweden's goals - and Caroline Seger became much less error-prone when she was moved back to the more defensive midfield position.
The injuries to Fischer and Thunebro are troubling. Hanna Ljungberg and Josefine Öqvist has both left the team and Lisa Dahlqvist is the only alternate that hasn't been called in.
And winning the match was rewarded with a quarterfinal match against Germany. Not fun. A tie or a loss would have had a match against USA as the prize (after an almost unimaginable Norwegian crash and burn against Japan), so it really doesn't matter.
Expressen. "Nu får det räcka, annars blir det tufft"
SVT: Dyrköpt vinst mot Kanada (including videos, goal clips and stuff)
Josefine Öqvist not fit for Canada match
In other pre-match news, there has been a debate in the press if it isn't better for Sweden to go down against Canada to avoid a Germany or Brazil match in the quarters and instead play Norway, a team Sweden has defeated twice this year. Expressen's Thomas Pettersson and Annette Börjesson, editor of Damfotboll.com, has maybe not outright argued in favour of this, but at least discussed the possibility. But national team coach Thomas Dennerby is not interested. "We need to take points in this match [to secure advancement]", he says.
SVT: Tårögd Öqvist missar ödesmatch
Expressen: Tomas Pettersson: Vinn inte mot Kanada
Aftonbladet: OS slut för Jossan?, Kan gynnas – av förlust
News not exactly from home
By the way, you can actually notice a lot of Damallsvenskan old acquaintances on the list: Kim Brandao (Falköping 2007), Jill Oakes (Falköping 2007), Michele O'Brien (Qbik 2007), Kelly Schmedes (Kif Örebro 2006) and Julianne Sitch (Bälinge 2006).
WPS: 20 players for USL W-League Combine unveiled
News from home
Relagation-threatened Bälinge IF has strengthened their squad with Temryss Lane, a 26 years old Arizona State alumnus who played for Sacramento Storm in the American WPSL this season. She is a defender and has played with Bälinge's Natalie Spilger before.
Bälinge IF: Äntligen lite glada nyheter!!
Sunnanå has lost outside midfielder Kristin Viklund for several months in a freak accident. She was opening a can of pineapple and managed to cut her so badly in the hand that both a tendon and a nerve got cut. The prognosis for recovery is good, but she has to keep away from activities where she can hurt her hand again, including football, for three months.
Norra Västerbotten: Kicki borta i månader
Umeå Södra's latest acquisition, Niki Cross, has arrived in Umeå and says she is willing to play wherever the coach wants her to play. She is eager to help Umeå Södra avoid relegation.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Cross har landat i Umeå
LDB FC Malmö invited six particulary promising young players (16-17 years mostly) to train a few days with the team. All players were there with their clubs permission and it is not about any imminent signings, more a chance for club and players to get to know each other better. The group consisted of five players from Swedish 1st and 2nd division clubs (all with experience from the national youth teams) and Dutch national team player Karin Stevens from Dutch club Willem II.
LDB Malmö: Handplockade talanger tränar med LdB FC
OK, I have to make an addition here. I checked any possible Dutch news on this and according to media in the Netherlands, Stevens has been offered a contract by LDB FC Malmö. She has not yet decided if she is going to accept it.
KNVB: Karin Stevens overtuigt Malmö, maar twijfelt nog (there are many others - just google away - , but this story is from the official site of the Dutch Football Association).
Sweden defeats Argentina without impressing
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Anna Paulson, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin (91 Stina Segerström), Sara Thunebro - Nilla Fischer - Frida Östberg, Caroline Seger (80 Jessica Landström), Therese Sjögran (71 Linda Forsberg) - Lotta Schelin, Victoria Svensson.
Goals: 1-0 Nilla Fischer (58)
Sweden did their duty and defeated Argentina, but even if they dominated with much more possession and shots at goal, it looked good only short periods. The lack of speed, movement and creativity in the attack was the same as against China and the team also got a half-time scolding from coach Dennerby. It seems like they listened and had a fairly good period ion the beginning of the second half, leading up til the winning goal, headed in by Nilla Fischer on a perfect free-kick from LDB Malmö teammate Therese Sjögran.
The heath and humidity was a big problem - "It felt like playing in a hot shower" commented Fischer - and partly to blame for the lack of speed. And slow was what Argentina wanted, often playing nine players on the defensive side of the ball, defending deep and waiting for a lucky break. They almost got it. They created two really dangerous situations in the last minutes of the match, showing Sweden that a one goal lead isn't anything to lean on.
And is goalkeeper Correa really the same Correa that tended the goal for Argentina last year? What a difference!!
Coach Thomas Dennerby didn't want to discuss possible group finishing scenarios with the press, but we can do that ourselves. First, Sweden has now qualified for the quarterfinals. Ok, there is a disaster scenario where Sweden lose to Canada, New Zealand defeats USA or (slightly more likely) Japan defeats Norway while North Korea performs better against Germany than Sweden does against Canada. I don't think all that will happen. Second, a third place finish should probably put Sweden up against Norway in the QF. Since a second placed team probably has to face Germany or Brazil while winning gains North Korea as an opponent, I really don't think finishing third is something to avoid at all costs. On the contrary.
SVT: Nillas nick sänkte Argentina (match clip videos)
Aftonbladet: Utskällningen tände spelarna
Dennerby: We need to score against Argentina
There is a lot of speculation about Sweden's tactics and line-up for the crucial Argentina match. A common idea is that Sweden not only needs to win, they need to get a really good score-line if it should come to the tie-breaker for the placement in the group. Jessica Landström - a tall, strong forward, perfect to use against the rather small Argentine defense - was the centre of many of the finishing exercises today and is promoted as a should-be starter by the analysts in Swedish media. This would be instead of Victoria Svensson and the best suggestion in my opinion is to let Victoria take an offensive midfield position and bench the more defensive Nilla Fischer. Umeå IK's full back Anna Paulsson is also rumoured to be a starter tomorrow, seen as a better offensive alternative than Frida Östberg. Expressen's Thomas Pettersson even wants to replace goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl with Caroline Jönsson. Not so much because Lindahl has been bad - she made mistakes but were still reliable - but to shake up the team a bit. And Jönsson has been looking good at training.
Svensk Fotboll: Tre poäng ett måste mot Argentina
Expressen: Damlandslaget möblerar om i laget - siktar på målkalas, Pettersson: Väck laget - byt målvakt
Aftonbladet: ”Det ska inte vara någon fara”, Peta Vickan
SVT: Läget inför Argentina-matchen (video from today's training session)
As usual: Sweden lose opening match
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Sara Thunebro - Nilla Fischer (76 Jessica Landström) - Josefine Öqvist (73 Linda Forsberg), Caroline Seger, Therese Sjögran (83 Johanna Almgren) - Victoria Svensson, Lotta Schelin
Goals: 0-1 Xu Yuan (6), 1-1 Lotta Schelin (38), 1-2 Han Duan (72)
Sweden has never won an opening match in a World Cup or an Olympic tournament. Not now either. You can find match reports in English at several international sites, including Fifa, so I don't have to bother you with that. And the Beijing 2008 official site is good for line-ups and such.
Swedish post-game reactions are pretty harsh. "Yet another flop", "Weak losers" and "Failing when it counts" was some of the phrases used. In particular the defense got bad reviews and the lack of creativity and movement in the attack. Even usually smiling coach Thomas Dennerby was unhappy: "We underperformed and we made mistakes that led to both China's goals." The players were more in a "lets move on"-mood, not interested in brooding over the defeat, "But I'm sure you will do that", Lotta Schelin told a reporter.
On the brighter side, this was a better performance than in the opener against Nigeria in the Women's World Cup last year. I liked some of the things I saw. Hedvig Lindahl's gutsy goalkeeping, often outside her area, opened for Swedish counters, one of which eventually led to the equaliser. The long period from the middle of the first until Han's goal, that actually came against the current, when Sweden played with confidence and dominated. And in the other group match, neither Canada or Argentina showed anything that should scare Sweden.
SVT: Nattsvart för Dennerbys damer - lot's of videoclips here, including the full match. I'm guessing some of these are blocked for viewing outside Sweden, but have a try.
Sweden confident before China match
Team captain Victoria Svensson thinks that the difference from last year is that the team is more secure in themselves and in their play. "Last year we lost several key player to late injuries and we changed our system. We will definitely get out of the group this time and a medal is a realistic goal."
Losing Hanna Ljungberg so close to the first match is of course a downer, in particular for Hanna herself. There has been tears, but Hanna has continued to train with the team and will watch the China match before she returns home. The team will miss Hanna Ljungberg, but the loss isn't a disaster. Everybody knows she's been having injury problems and no one saw her as a starter. LDB FC Malmö's target player Maria Aronsson has been picked as a new alternate and flew over to China Tuesday to be on location if needed.
SVT: Ljungbergs tre OS-turneringar (video with clips from Hanna's three Olympics)
Aftonbladet: ”Guldet är vår vision”
Dagens Nyheter: Svensson tror på medalj
Göteborgsposten: Harmonisk stämning i fotbollslandslaget
And if you want to know what Dennerby was talking about, there are clips from the USA match at Jocasta's Damallsoapbox.
Hanna Ljungberg leaves Olympic team
Hanna Ljungberg, who has been troubled by her left hamstring since Sweden's camp on Gotland a couple of weeks ago, will leave the Olympic team. Hanna, who has had most of the spring season hampered by a similar injurry in her right thigh, has been working with Sweden's medical team, trying to get fit for the match against China on Wednesday. It is now clear that she will not be fit in time for that match and, coach Dennerby says "we don't know if it will take three or four days or even longer to recover". It wasn't a hard decision to take, says Dennerby, but of course an emotionally tough one.
Hanna Ljungberg will be replaced by alternate Johanna Almgren, Kopparbergs/Göteborg's midfielder, who is one of the alternates that travelled with the team. Already a week ago Dennerby wanted to get another alternate, Umeå forward Madeleine Edlund, to fly over to the far east to be prepared to be called up. But Edlund experienced a muscle problem similar to Ljungberg's and decided after discussions with Umeå's medical staff and with coach Dennerby, to stay behind. Having to bring in a midfielder for a forward isn't a problem for Dennerby: "We can deal with this with the players that are already here". Linköping's Josefine Öqvist (listed as midfielder) looks most likely to me.
Aftonbladet: Hanna Ljungberg helt borta från OS
LDB FC loans out more players to Tyresö
The cooperation between LDB FC and Tyresö goes further that just player loans. The ambition is to cooperate in all areas: training, organization, marketing and player recruiting. The first example of the last item, recruiting, comes as the 25 years old American centre back Stephanie Peel (last with former Malmö team captain Denise Reddy's club Jersey Sky Blue) joins Tyresö. She has been on trial with Malmö, but, at least not yet, deemed good enough for the first team. Malmö's coach Jörgen Pettersson will follow her development in Tyresö.
Tyresö also has former Kristianstad attacker Elin Bjerre training with the team, even if she is uncertain if she can committ fully to 1st division play. She moved to Stockholm for a new job and have to give that priority.
Damfotboll.com: LdBs FCs mittback Emma Wilhelmsson till Tyresö
In other LDB FC news, their young defender Lina Rehov leaves the club at least one year for college studies. Rehov, who is capped for Sweden at the U17 and U19 teams, comes from Malmö's youth system. She was brought up to the first team 2007, but has only played two premier division matches. She has recieved a scholarship at the renowned Florida State University, where Umeå's Mami Yamaguchi played.
LDB FC: Rehov till USA
American league announces interest in Damallsvenskan players
You could, by the way, guess that Umeå isn't the only club that has been approached with similar requests. But so far Arnqvist is the only one who has talked.
Roland Arnqvist, who is no longer employed by Umeå, is hired by the club to handle player recruiting. He has already offered most of the players contracts for 2009 and says that he hopes to have wrapped things up by the time the league restarts in late August. Several players (Sofia Jakobsson, Ramona Bachmann, Elaine, Madeleine Edlund and Emmelie Konradsson) recieved two year contracts last year and are thus already clear for 2009. Among the others, Arnqvist reveals that his first priority is Mami Yamaguchi, whom he has offered a two year deal.
Västerbottens Folkblad: USA-ligan på jakt efter UIK-spelare, UIK tryggar framtiden tidigt
Daniela stays at Linköping
Both of the Brazilians have done a great job so far and the club wants to keep them both. But the club finances are strained. When forced to chose between the two Brazilians, the coaches' assessment that Daniela was most important for the team was deciding. "You can't say anything other than that Daniela has been the better one during the spring. And we have plenty of alternatives for Cristiane's position, like Jessica Landström, Kosovare Asslani, Josefine Öqvist and Lisa Nilsson", comments Mäki.
Corren: Daniela klar för spel i LFC
Transfer sum-up as window closes
Umeå Södra FF signed 23 years old American Nikki Cross (University of Connecticut), an all- round player who just finished her 2008 season with Connecticut Soccer Plus in WPSL. Sport director Ola Carlén says they are primarily looking at her as a winger.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Södra fortsätter värva amerikanskt
KIF Örebro signs 17 years old twins Sara and Emma Fogelqvist from 2nd division side Kumla AIK. Emma is capped on youth level.
KIF Örebro: Nygamla förvärv
Kristianstad loans out their seldom used midfielder Veronika Persson to Vittsjö, a 1st division side, for the rest of 2008.
Kristianstadsbladet: Flera förändringar i KDFF-truppen
LDB FC Malmö loanes out young winger Antonia Göransson to Kristianstads DFF for the rest of the season. And since Damallsvenskan is on hold during the Olympics, but the lower divisions play, they have made loan deals with two 1st division sides. Defenders Emelie Ölander and Lina Nilsson as well as goalkeeper Stephanie Öhrström joins Sundsvalls DFF for the August matches while the offensive players Emma Stålhammar and Aylin Yaren goes to Stockholm side Tyresö FF.
Sundsvalls Tidning: Förstärkningar i SDFF
LDB FC: Ytterligare två spelare lånas ut
Kopparbergs/Göteborgs FC lets Sofie Andersson to 1st division side Öster for the August matches.
Damfotboll.com: Allsvensk gör come-back i Öster
Victoria Svensson on marriage and children
She clears out what appearently (and surprisingly, at least to me) has been a common miscionception: she did not give birth to the child herself. The birthmother is her partner since ten years, and since a couple of months also her wife. It was, says Victoria, a simple decision that her partner and not Victoria should carry the child, with the Olympics coming up and all. But she wants more children and hopes to be able to give birth to one herself in the future. She says that she is really happy for the baby, a girl named Moa, and thinks it has made her a better player: "I feel more relaxed".
She says that she has never tried to hide her relationship: "I've always been open about it to everyone around me. There are journalists that has known about it for years, but haven't published anything...I'm really glad that they have waited until I thought it was the right time...I wanted to be known as the football player, not as the woman who lives with another woman.". But marrying and having a baby changed her mind "I'm so proud of my family and I really want to talk about them".
Aftonbladet: "Det var självklart att min fru skulle föda barnet"
QX: VISST SPELAR VICKAN I VÅRT LAG (pdf, interview at page 22-23)